MIDDLESEX COUNTY — Middlesex County ranked sixth among all counties in New Jersey, up from seventh last year, for overall health in the County Health Rankings, a study published annually by University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The report provides a ranking of all counties in New Jersey, based on health outcomes through programs, policies and health factors. Many determining factors contribute to overall health, including individual behavior, the quality of health care, education, jobs and environment.
Middlesex County Freeholder H. James Polos, chairperson of the County’s Public Safety and Health Committee, said: “This report provides our county with an opportunity to discuss important public health issues, share ideas, improve current programs, and create new innovative initiatives to improve the overall health for our residents. My Freeholder colleagues and I are always looking for ways to improve the quality of life of our residents and this report is a good benchmark and a jumping off point for further improvements for next year.”
Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano added: “Clearly the work we are doing as a County, in cooperation with residents and our partners in the health care and education communities, is making a positive difference in the quality of our residents’ lives.”
The County Health Rankings report can be used to mobilize the community into action to improve the quality of life through better health.
Lester Jones, Director-Health Officer of the County Office of Health Services stated: “No individual organization has the depth of resources needed to raise community health to an optimal level alone. By collectively working with business leaders, public health advocates, public health professionals, education officials, community leaders, elected and appointed officials, and health care partners, we can accomplish more. It is important to continue to work together towards our common goals for optimal health. Everyone can help to make their community healthier.”
In the fall of 2010, the MCOHS participated in the extensive countywide human services needs assessment conducted by the Middlesex County Human Services Advisory Council, in partnership with PRAB, and Rutgers University School of Social Work.
The project titled “Middlesex County 2020: Creating a Collective Vision for Our County” held five community focus groups throughout the County with the goal of establishing a comprehensive human services agenda and setting priorities and action items to ensure the quality of life for residents over the next decade.
Earlier this year, the county extended its partnerships beyond county boundaries when it entered into a Shared Services agreement with Union County. Middlesex County’s Health Services Office now manages public health services for both counties.
“These are all steps we are taking to move health care forward,” Polos said. “These are steps we need to take in order to best serve our citizens.”
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